Monday morning. The day before our big launch & stock hadn’t arrived yet from overseas. I was refreshing the tracking number every 20 minutes to check for movement. The shipment had arrived in Melbourne and was waiting to be delivered that day. Come 4pm, still nothing. The TNT customer service rep assured me at 4.18pm that day that it would get on the truck the next morning and we’d have it just in time for our launch at 5pm on Tuesday.
This was a big launch for us. We had almost 2,000 people who had been on the waiting list for four weeks+ trying to get their hands on a new watch.
Tuesday morning. Roll into the office coffee in hand ready for a huge day. The team was pumped. Still no movement on the tracking, the shipment hasn’t gone on the truck as promised yesterday afternoon.
Panic sets in. I give TNT another ring and they basically tell me they’re not sure why the shipment isn’t moving, they’re not sure if it’s back in customs or if it’s in the depot. Hold on a sec. Were they really telling me they weren’t sure were my shipment worth $100k retail was?
Finally, the rep from TNT gives me a ring at 12.30pm and says that she’s located the shipment and they’re going to arrange a direct courier to deliver it now. It’s going to be picked up at 1pm and delivered by 2pm (it’s a short drive from the depot).
Tuesday 2.30pm. Nothing.
I jump back onto the live tracking and it says ‘Delivered. Signed.’
Great! I assumed that reception signed for it so I rallied the team and we head down to reception to haul the boxes back into the warehouse. When we arrived reception informed us they hadn’t seen anything at all. Immediately panic set in. Where was our shipment now? I went around to the businesses around us to see if anyone had signed for the shipment. Where was it? I checked outside in case the courier had just left it out the front. Nothing. I rang TNT from outside and the person who booked the direct courier had left the office for the day. It’s 3pm. 2 hours until launch. People ready to buy. The hype was enormous.
I crouched down against the wall out the front all but defeated. Fears that it had been delivered to the wrong address or perhaps delivered out the front & stolen were swirling in my head. There was no information on who had actually signed for it or where it was delivered.
I was almost defeated.
I head back into the office to address the team on a potential Plan B. They didn’t really like it, nor did I. All of our hard work over the last six weeks was about to be undone. We’re at the growth point now in our business where we have sales targets, we have staff to pay, rent & overheads. It’s not just all fun & games. It was all leading into this big launch.
I grabbed my laptop and head out the front to continue the work that needed to be done, but also keeping an eye out for any sign of the shipment.
3.45pm, roughly 1 hour until launch. A beat up station wagon rolls into the driveway and I think nothing of it. A guy rolls out and said “I’ve got 8 boxes for Uncle Jack”. They had arrived. No big TNT truck, not even a van. A guy with no uniform in a late 90’s Holden station wagon with our shipment bundled up in the back.
The launch was back on.
It ended up being a hugely successful launch & we smashed our goal. BUT, I’ll never forget the moment I was crouched against the wall outside, head in hands.